Drug interactions

Drug interactions that compromise or affect gut health.

bottle of EndoMune Advanced Probiotic next to a digital graphic of Omega-3 oil

Omega-3s and Probiotics Team Up For Better Health (Yours!)

For a very long time, omega-3 rich fish oil has sat alongside probiotics as an important go-to supplements patients rely on every day for their good health.

That’s a good thing. Our go-go-go lifestyles often leave little time for eating anything but highly processed meals chock full of omega-6 fatty acids and lacking in any nutritional value.

This tendency to eat on the run has gone a long way toward fueling our country’s continuing obesity epidemic that leaves you vulnerable to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions occurring all at once that increase your risks of more serious cardiovascular problems.

A team of Swedish researchers has shared some interesting ways both omega-3s and probiotics team up for better health (yours!) in a recent report appearing in the medical journal Nutrients.

Treating inflammation

Reducing inflammation in your body is critical as we’ve learned with leaky gut. This condition, created by breakdowns in the intestinal wall, allows bacterial particles to seep into the bloodstream that stimulates inflammation and triggers health problems like metabolic syndrome.

In this Swedish review, researchers examined some of the mechanisms in which probiotics and the omega-3s in fish oil work together and on their own to promote better health.

The key reason why omega-3s and probiotics may work so well together: Both share a common pathway to work with our body’s immune system, a critical part of keeping inflammation in check.

For example, scientists describe how omega-3 fatty acids may work just like prebiotic compounds, the unsung heroes of gut health.

The EndoMune family of probiotics, from EndoMune Jr. Advanced Chewables to EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, also contains proven prebiotics that do the dirty work of feeding the good bacteria in your gut and a whole lot more.

Probiotics and omega-3s have also been connected to improvements in insulin and blood glucose levels among patients battling diabetes and pre-diabetes, part of the cluster of problems associated with metabolic syndrome.

The real benefit

The best benefit of pairing omega-3 fish oil and probiotics: It’s a safe, drug-free strategy most people can follow very easily. The real challenge, however, is choosing the best ones for your health.

When you’re looking for the best fish oil supplement, review product labels to ensure you choose one that contains the most EPA and DHA, two difference-making omega-3s. Many brands have little to none of either one.

Studying product labels is very important when selecting the best probiotic for your health too.

As you search for the right probiotic for your health, look for brands that contain multiple species of beneficial bacteria. For example, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic is carefully formulated with species from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families that support a balanced, healthy gut and protect your immune health.

Resources

Nutrients

Mayo Clinic

Healthline

 

 

 

 

Spoon filled with various pills

Could Diet Affect Your Gut’s Response to Antibiotics?

We remind you from time-to-time how harmful antibiotics can be to your overall health — not to mention your gut — if you rely on them a lot.

Taking an antibiotic — even when it’s necessary — alters the critical balance of bacteria in your gut that fuels and protects your immune system.

Did you know your diet triggers changes in your gut bacteria when you’re taking an antibiotic too?

What you eat when taking an antibiotic matters

Researchers at Brown University studied the effect of common antibiotics (amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin and doxycycline) on three sets of mice, focusing on changes in gut bacteria balance and how bacteria adapted after those treatments with food.

A couple of basic things really stood out.

For one, the amount of a specific bacteria strain (acteroides thetaiotaomia specific bacteria strain B) actually tripled in size when exposed to antibiotics, affecting the overall healthy balance of gut bacteria in mice.

This second result is interesting and goes straight to the question of eating a supportive gut-healthy diet with dietary fiber.

No surprise, the gut bacteria of mice fed dietary fiber were far less affected by their exposure to antibiotics by a factor of 10.

Once again, these results show how antibiotics alter the balance of gut health, and how the quality of your diet may protect or hurt it.

The take-home message here really is twofold.

  1. Work on increasing the dietary fiber you eat every day by eating more whole foods and fewer heavily processed foods. It doesn’t take much (1 ounce or 30 grams) to make a healthy difference.
  2. Taking a probiotic with 10 strains and 30 billion CFUs of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic every day supports and protects the balance of bacteria in your gut — the center of your body’s immune system — when you’re taking an antibiotic.

Resources

Cell Metabolism

Brown University

Mayo Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

 

woman putting a pill in her mouth

The Newest Superbug Problem: Pain Relievers

Think about the last time you were prescribed an antibiotic or pain reliever by your doctor… Did you really need it?

An estimated 43 percent of the 130 million scripts for antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed or issued for no reason, according to a recent Oregon State University report.

These unnecessary prescriptions are creating a world in which antibiotics are losing their ability to work as they should, and that’s a real health problem for all of us.

Not only does the excessive use of antibiotics harm the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, but these drugs can also leave you vulnerable to superbug infections like Clostridium difficile (C. diff) that are resistant to them.

Taking pain-relieving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may worsen that problem, according to a recent study appearing in mBio.

Are you taking this drug?

Taking any type of drugs come with some health concerns — even small ones. The real challenge is looking for ways to modify those risk factors in the presence of diseases like C. diff, says Dr. David Aronoff, a microbiologist, infectious disease expert, and the lead author of this study.

Scientists tracked the health of two groups of mice treated with antibiotics after being infected with C. diff. One group was treated with indomethacin, an NSAID used to treat severe pain caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, while the control group received no drug.

Only 20 percent of the mice exposed to the NSAID survived to the end of the study. What’s more, mice treated with the pain-relieving drug and antibiotics experienced altered gut microbiomes and worse C. diff infections, a sign their tiny immune systems were harmed.

Why you should be concerned: Indomethacin shares roughly the same biological mechanisms as far more common over-the-counter NSAIDs you may be taking more regularly, like aspirin and ibuprofen. (Taking acetaminophen in large doses isn’t safe for your gut either.)

Protect your gut

Previously, we have warned you about the effect a higher-than-you’d-expect number of non-antibiotic drugs that treat a myriad of problems with mental health, cancer, diabetes and blood pressure have on your gut bacteria.

As much as you’d like to avoid these interactions, that may not possible. You may need to take an antibiotic, one of these other drugs — or both — that may disturb the healthy balance and immune-supportive power, either for a short time or a long time.

So, what can you do?

First, be knowledgeable about those possible interactions when consulting with your doctor or your local pharmacist.

Also, taking a probiotic, ideally, one that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, may be your best weapon to give your body the help it needs to maintain the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, protect your immune system and prevent C. diff infections altogether.

Resources

mBio

American Society for Microbiology

MedlinePlus

WebMD

American Academy of Rheumatology

 

 

person holding tablet that displays text: "Statins and gut health"

Should You Take Statins For Your Gut Health?

You may remember my previous blog article that urged you to question what you read everywhere when it comes to probiotics.

At the time, a handful of people had asked me about some mainstream media reports that disputed the benefits of probiotics, so we addressed them directly, honestly and scientifically. If the need arises, we will do it again…

During a recent review of studies, I discovered another report that might lead a few of you down the wrong path, this time about statins, a common and very effective class of drugs that lowers your cholesterol levels.

Obesity and gut imbalances

As you know, obesity is a risk factor that can elevate your cholesterol levels and harm the healthy diversity of bacteria in your gut.

A recent study that tracked the gut health of nearly 900 obese patients in France, Germany and Denmark discovered those who had been treated with a statin drug, not only had lower their cholesterol levels but healthier gut bacteria profiles compared to people not taking those drugs.

What made the difference: A specific configuration of unhealthy gut bacteria (Bact2) in obese patients tied to gut inflammation and diseases like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease that may be linked to inflammation too.

In fact, obese patients taking a statin drug had much lower levels of that unhealthy gut bacteria than those who didn’t use a statin drug and closer to levels observed in healthy, non-obese patients.

Take a statin drug for its real purpose

On the surface, those results sound encouraging, but here’s some things you need to consider.

For one, your chances of being obese, taking statins and having this specific kind of gut bacteria is very low, which brings little clarity to whether statins really help.

Plus, we warned you some time ago that some statins may work — or not — depending on your gut bacteria.

Fact is, statins are very safe and effective drugs for what they do: Lessening heart disease by reducing LDL (low-density) cholesterol, the fat-like, waxy substances that build up in the arteries.

Multiple studies have found statin drugs really are life-saving medications with very clear benefits.

However, a statin drug isn’t designed for the heavy-duty work that a probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, formulated with 10 strains and 30 BILLION CFUs of beneficial bacteria and a proven prebiotic (FOS) that feeds the good guys in your gut, can do.

If you want to get healthy, give your body a gentle and natural weight-loss boost and begin to reduce your need for a statin drug, consider EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, a probiotic/prebiotic blend that stimulates the release of hormones that can create a greater sense of fullness and reduce your appetite.

Resources

EndoMune capsules displayed on blue background

Help Ease Your Anxiety with Probiotics

As our country watches the COVID-19 pandemic with apprehension, it’s no surprise that mental health specialists report a sharp increase in the number of anxiety and depression cases. A recent poll taken by the American Psychiatric Association indicates 36% ofAmericans said COVID-19 has made a serious impact on their mental health. If the physical isolation isn’t enough, the pandemic has escalated fears over potential job losses, bankruptcy, acute illness, and death.

Probiotic consumption has been a hot topic for research concerning the gut-brain axis in the past few years. The gut-brain axis (GBA) is the connection between the central nervous system (CNS) and the enteric nervous system (ENS.) That connection links the emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with our body’s intestinal functions. Recent research describes the important role gut microbiota play in these functions.

Probiotics protect against stress

That evidence suggests that probiotics can protect the body against the harmful physical and mental effects of stress. Conversely, it also suggests that probiotics can help regulate mood by keeping the gut microbiome balanced and performing optimally. That means if we want better mood and mental health, we need to take care of our guts.

However, gut bacteria can also be altered by stress, leading to suboptimal gut health. Moreover, other things can reduce the efficiency of our gut function such as antibiotics, intestinal infections, and poor diet – all of which can kill off beneficial or “good” bacteria. A lack of good bacteria in the gut has also been associated with other health problems such as leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Clearly, this evidence indicates we can’t achieve optimum health unless our guts are maintained at peak efficiency and fortifying our microbiota with probiotics may be a way to both fight and prevent anxiety and mood disorders.

How it works

The bacteria in our gut enhance our resilience to stressful situations by helping seal the gut barrier. When our microbiome is not balanced, its compromised, inefficient gut function can have a negative impact on our overall health (including mental health), due to leakage of hormones and intestinal inflammation.

If the gut lining stays porous for too long, it can allow toxins and toxic bacteria into our body, where some of those toxins can pass through the blood-brain barriers that protect the brain from these types of pathogens.

That’s how a balanced gut microbiome strengthens the gut lining, protects us against leaky gut, and reduces gut inflammation, which in turn plays a role in our mental well-being.

Inflammation also affects the central nervous system and can cause symptoms of depression; but conversely, depression can cause inflammation itself. That’s why having a robust, diverse microbiome is necessary to help control inflammation by strengthening the gut lining, and preventing unwanted toxins from entering the body.

Researchers report that people who suffer from anxiety often have symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as IBS, gas, and diarrhea. These ‘co-occurring disorders’ help cement the conclusions over the importance of the gut-brain axis and its role in many common illnesses.

The link between the gut-brain axis plays a critical role in how healthy we are, and an ever-increasing body of evidence strongly suggests that the microbiota in your gut influences every other aspect of your overall health – including our mental health. Simply put, it seems that now, more than ever, it’s impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle unless our guts are happy and thriving, and everyone’s first step to better health should be to repair our guts. Consequently, dietary changes and probiotics are some of the methods researchers use to alter the microbiota in patients to help treat anxiety and depression.

Since microbiota has such an important impact on your entire body, it’s not surprising that taking probiotics for your mood doesn’t just benefit our mental health in one way. Probiotics may also help other precursors associated with an increased risk of anxiety:

  1. Helps reduce inflammation, and research suggests that depression may be an inflammatory disease
  2. Increases tryptophan, the happiness hormone, which stimulates natural serotonin production.
  3. Certain probiotic strains, like L. Rhamnosus, help reduce levels of the stress hormone corticosterone.
  4. Some strains of probiotics may possess inherent anti-depressant qualities.

Research on probiotics and the brain-gut connection continues, but the importance of this connection seems clear. Incorporating more probiotic foods in your diet, is a great step to achieving robust overall health. Unfortunately, our fast-paced lifestyles and the ever-present temptations of industrialized food make eating well-balanced, healthy meals hard. The easy answer to that is to help our guts with a probiotic supplement like an EndoMune Probiotic.  Try one today – your body and your mental health will thank you.

Illustration of orange pill bottle on dark blue background

Should You Really Be Taking an Antibiotic?

The last time you visited your doctor, you may have received a prescription of an antibiotic. Did you take the initiative to ask the physician if you really needed that antibiotic you were prescribed?

Often, antibiotics serve as effective tools that solve a multitude of health problems, but only when they’re really necessary. Patients rely too often on antibiotics even for minor problems, like viruses or bacterial infections that don’t even respond these kinds of drugs.

Maybe, you pressured your doctor to prescribe a round of antibiotics just so you could get well and get back to work…

Consider this scary report about the rampant over-prescribing of antibiotics as your latest wake-up call to really consider whether you really need them or not.

No reason to prescribe antibiotics

A team of Oregon-based scientists examined how often patients received prescriptions for antibiotics out of nearly a billion of outpatient visits nationwide.

They examined samples of data culled from the 2015 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, looking for indications whether antibiotic prescriptions were necessary, inappropriate or issued for no documented reason.

Antibiotics were prescribed in about 13 percent of those visits (some 130 million times). A majority of them (57 percent) were judged to be medically appropriate and necessary.

But that’s only part of the story…

The remainder of antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed (25 percent) or issued for no documented reason (18 percent). In other words, many of the 56 million prescriptions for antibiotics in those other categories were probably unnecessary.

Many of those wasted prescriptions were for urinary anti-infective agents, drugs used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). What’s more, patients who spent more time with their physicians or suffered from chronic health issues were prescribed antibiotics for no reason.

Probiotics to the rescue

All of these unnecessary prescriptions come with a huge price: Creating an antibiotic-resistant world where these valuable drugs lose their ability to work properly.

The end results are superbug infections stemming from Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) that can be impossible to treat.

The most important takeaway is pretty simple: If you need to take an antibiotic for any reason, be aware these drugs can create imbalances in your gut that harm your immune system and slow down your ability to get well.

Your best weapon to protect your health and help your body do the hard work of healing with a little damage as possible is a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

EndoMune’s powerful formula of 10 beneficial strains of bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillusfamilies and a prebiotic (that feeds the good bugs in your gut) not only protects and enhances your immune health.

(If you’re suffering from a urinary tract infection, probiotics like EndoMune are a safe and proven way to treat them.)

It helps that very necessary antibiotic you need to do its job to help you get well when you really need it.

Resources

Row of pill bottles half-way filled with pills inside a pharmacy.

Taking Medicines Changes Your Gut Health

Any medicines you take every day should improve your overall health for the better.

However, does your doctor consider how your gut health may be affected by what he/she prescribes for a specific health issue?

We remind you often about the many problems that occur when doctors treat a problem, like heartburn, by prescribing an over-the-counter proton pump inhibitor (PPI) like omeprazole magnesium (Prilosec) that also may be harmful to your gut health when you overdo using it.

If you follow our blog regularly, you know similar gut health complications arise when you’re prescribed an antibiotic too.

Unfortunately, antibiotics and heartburn medicines aren’t the only ones that alter your gut health…

19 kinds of medicines

Dutch researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen found 19 kinds of drugs that may be harmful to your gut health, according to a study that appeared recently in Nature Communications.

Scientists analyzed nearly 1,900 fecal samples from three sets of patients: A general group with no specific health issues and those treated for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and irritable bowel disorder (IBD).

(The majority of patients participating in this study took at least one medication and some took as many as 12 of them.)

Among the categories of medicines researchers detected in analyses of fecal samples, PPIs and antibiotics were linked to gut health changes, but not all of them.

These medications attracted attention from researchers too, depending on the kind of analysis conducted and the patient group.

  • Metformin, the go-to drug for type 2 diabetes patients.
  • Laxatives used to treat constipation.
  • Vitamin D supplements.
  • Steroid inhalers for asthma.
  • SSRIs and other antidepressant drugs.

Protecting your gut health balance

Whether it’s the foods you eat, the medicines you take, the sleep you get (or don’t) and the exercise routine you follow, all of these variables affect your gut health based on your calendar.

Depending on the day, you may need to take some medication for a brief health problem, adjust your diet, work longer hours to meet a deadline or skip the exercise you need.

Your best insurance policy to maintain the health of your gut — the center of your immune system — no matter what life throws at you: Take a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

Resources

Nature Communications

United European Gastroenterology

Medical News Bulletin

UPI

various liquid medicines in syringes, measurement spoons and cups.

“Helpful” Drugs Expose Your Child’s Gut Health To Obesity

There’s no question obesity rates are growing sharply across all age groups of Americans.

So far, nearly 40 percent of all adults age 20 and older have lost the battle with obesity, based on statistics collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

As with many health problems, however, problems with obesity start very early. According to the NCHS, some 14 percent of young children as early as age 2 may already be obese, and the numbers keep climbing to 20.6 percent by the time kids reach young adulthood.

These statistics appear to be pretty close to the mark, if not a little low, according to data collected by Harvard University that we cited recently.

What could trigger that slide to obesity so quickly?

Exposure to antibiotics and heartburn drugs in the gut may be the culprits, according to a recent report appearing the journal Gut.

Too many “helpful” drugs?

Researchers examined the records of more than 330,000 children enrolled in the U.S. Department of Defense’s TRICARE health system, looking specifically for antibiotic and heartburn drugs (H2 blockers and PPIs) prescribed to kids during the first two years of their lives.

Nearly every child in the study had been prescribed at least one round of antibiotics (72.5 percent) or a heartburn drug (15 percent), and nearly 6,000 kids were prescribed at least one round of all three drugs.

Roughly 37,000 of the 47,000 of children who became obese over the eight-year study were prescribed a heartburn drug or antibiotic. A single round of prescribed antibiotics elevated a child’s obesity risks by 26 percent.

Another gut-related factor to childhood obesity discovered by scientists — C-section births — was a difference-maker, too.

The good news about this study: health providers are becoming more aware by the day about the damage common “helpful” drugs like heartburn meds and antibiotics can do to the bodies of our little ones (and their parents too), often through harming their gut health.

My probiotic protocol

There are times your children just can’t avoid taking an antibiotic or heartburn drug.

My best recommendation to protect the health of your kids and yourself safely and effective: Follow my simple protocol for taking a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.

One more thing to remember about taking a probiotic: Give your child’s body at least a two-hour break between taking an antibiotic or heartburn drug and a probiotic to allow those beneficial bacteria to do their work to protect his/her gut.

Just a reminder that EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic contains four key strains of helpful bacteria and a prebiotic (FOS) that helps feed the good bugs in their gut.

For convenience, EndoMune Junior comes in two forms: a powder to sprinkle on your toddler’s soft foods (for children up to age 3) and a chewable, berry-flavored tablet (for children ages 3-8).

Older man selecting medication from a store shelf.

Relying on Heartburn Drugs Too Much?

You may have experienced a big jolt when you saw the news about the FDA alerting consumers to the presence of a human carcinogen in the over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn drug ranitidine, most commonly known by its brand name, Zantac.

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is the very same carcinogen that prompted a recall of some prescription medications containing the generic drug valsartan (used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure).

Although the FDA was quick to say the amounts of NDMA found in ranitidine were barely above what may be found in common foods, that didn’t stop Sandoz/Novartis from halting the distribution of Zantac, pending a deeper investigation.

In the meantime, national drug store chains — Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS — have removed Zantac and its generic counterparts off their shelves.

A lot of heartburn drugs are sold via the OTC route, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like omeprazole magnesium (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid) and H2 blockers like ranitidine and famotidine (Pepcid).

It’s no stretch to say that many of the 15 million Americans who are prescribed these heartburn drugs and the countless numbers of people who take them via the OTC route, do so for far longer than they should, even after their health problem has cleared up.

Even years!

Previously, we’ve warned you that taking PPIs creates unhealthy imbalances in the bacteria in your stomach that can leave you vulnerable to serious Clostridium difficile (C. diff) superbug infections.

Imagine side effects that are far worse…

Death due to heartburn drugs

A recent report featured in The BMJ tracked the mortality rates among more than 200,000 U.S. soldiers who had been newly prescribed either a PPI or H2 blocker drug for a decade.

Overall, long-term use of PPIs was associated with a 17 percent greater risk of death compared to H2 blockers. The uptick in mortality rates among PPI users was attributed to cardiovascular disease, stomach cancer and chronic kidney disease.

Two more factoids that should catch your attention, especially if you take PPIs or other heartburn drugs, either over-the-counter or by prescription:

  • More than 80 percent of PPI users were taking low doses of their prescribed drug, about the same as doses offered in OTC versions.
  • More than half of the patients were taking a PPI for no medical reason, even though it was prescribed to them.

“Most alarming to me is that serious harm may be experienced by people who are on PPIs but may not need them,” says Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, senior author of the study and assistant professor at Washington University’s School of Medicine. “Overuse is not devoid of harm.

“For those who have a medical need, PPI use should be limited to the lowest effective dose and shortest duration possible.”

What can you do?

Are you taking heartburn drugs based on your doctor’s advice or doing it on your own?

Have you been taking them longer than two weeks?

Do you schedule breaks between rounds of taking a heartburn drug by at least four months?

If you aren’t able to answer those questions immediately, it’s time to see your doctor for some advice.

In the meantime, here are some steps you can take to ease your heartburn symptoms without taking a drug:

  1. Cut out smoking for good.
  2. If you’ve been putting off losing weight, the time is now.
  3. Leave about two hours between the time you eat an evening meal and the time you go to bed.
  4. Before hitting the sack, elevate your pillow slightly to avoid a nighttime surge of stomach acid.
  5. Prevent disruptions in the critical balance of healthy bacteria in your gut — and avoid superbug infections — by taking a probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic containing 20 billion CFUs and 10 strains of beneficial bacteria.
sterile white couch in an all white room

Your House Paint May Contain Gut-Harming Antimicrobials

I’ve talked about all of the trouble associated antibacterial products (preventing the development of bacteria) and antimicrobial products (preventing the spread of fungi, viruses and bacteria) too many times to count on my blog.

Over-sterilizing your life creates lots of problems for your gut microbiome. And, this doesn’t include exposures to all sorts of things under our very noses — from yoga mats to common personal care products like toothpaste — that contain gut bacteria-robbing chemicals.

Could the latex paint that lines the walls of your home be another problem hiding in plain sight?

Antimicrobial latex paints put to the test

Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago tested the effect of three kinds of antimicrobial, synthetic latex paints (formulated to improve indoor air quality) on bacteria in a study featured in the journal, Indoor Air.

To reproduce the typical home environment, scientists painted a group of 2×2-inch squares of drywall twice (with a day in between applications for drying), added tiny drops of water and placed them in sealed glass jars.

Then, some of the samples were exposed to five forms of bacteria taken from gym facilities that are commonly found in homes.

Within a day, all but one of the bacterial species — the spore-forming Bacillus timonensis — had died. The concern: Most bacteria die on dry, cold surfaces, but why not this one?

Spreading bacteria where it shouldn’t be

When bacteria are attacked with antimicrobial chemicals, they will mount a defense, says lead researcher Erica Hartmann. “Bacillus is typically innocuous, but by attacking it, you might prompt it to develop more antibiotic resistance.”

Spore-forming bacteria like Bacillus timonensis protect themselves on painted surfaces by lying dormant for a time, and resisting harsh conditions until they reactivate.

By now, you’re probably wondering why paint companies don’t test their antimicrobial products on common forms of bacteria. That was the gist of the test, Hartman says.

All too often, companies test their products on how E. coli — considered by some to be the “lab rat” of the microbial world — and Staphylococcus survive, yet ignore other microbes people encounter every day.

“We should be judicious in our use of antimicrobial products to make sure that we’re not exposing the more harmless bacteria to something that could make them harmful,” Hartmann says.

Protecting your immune health

The presence of antimicrobial cleaners and paints in our lives can create a “too clean for our own good” environment that hurts our health in many ways.

Exposure to antibacterial and antimicrobial products, even those seemingly as benign as paint, can harm us by eroding the delicate balance of bacteria in our gut.

Maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria helps our body do critical things like fortifying our immune systems and creating nearly all of the serotonin our bodies need.

Taking a good probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, is an easy way to protect your overall health and your gut from antibacterial products that may hiding on your walls, countertops and elsewhere.

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